Parts: drafting of constitutional treaty will require more time

13.12.2003 | 00:00

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Brussels, 13 December 2003 Today´s Intergovernmental Conference meeting decided to continue the drafting of the constitutional treaty during the Irish presidency. According to Prime Minister Parts, Estonia has sought a good, balanced, and high-quality treaty from the start, and a hasty conclusion of negotiations has never been a goal of its own. "We don´t think of it as a failure; rather, we need more time to reach agreement on such fundamental matters," said Parts. According to Foreign Minister Kristiina Ojuland, today´s meeting showed that the opinions of all states are taken into account in the negotiations, and nobody is pushed aside or left unnoticed. "The treaty can only be born when all countries accept it," Ojuland stressed. The prime minister believes that today countries lack the political will and readiness to compromise in order to satisfy all parties. The question of voting rights was the main issue discussed yesterday and today. However, the prime minister confirmed that today´s decision would have no impact on EU enlargement, as the amendments needed for enlargement were already made in the Treaty of Nice, which we too approved at the 14 September referendum. "Estonia and nine other countries will join the European Union under this treaty next year as initially planned. The constitutional treaty would have entered into force in 2007 at the earliest anyway, and nothing will change for us at the moment," the prime minister confirmed. NB! Editorial offices! Prime Minister Parts will arrive in Tallinn at 10:45 a.m. tomorrow. He will give a short press conference at the airport. Please register for the press conference by calling Kristi Liiva, phone 05074162. The prime minister will arrive in Tallinn (airport) tomorrow at 2:10 p.m. Government Press Office Phone 693 5792, 693 5706

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